Chris orchestrates the strip:

Well, I know that I lived, alongside multiple physical incarnations of May, in a muddled state inside Chris's head for years; but the last three months were the most cruel. Essentially an acknowledgement that until that point he had not taken us seriously, and now he only did so for his own personal gain. Not only his personal gain but out of envy and lust for the success of friend of his who finally made it into the syndicated land.

During those days of development, he worked us hard. He inked me so many different ways, he changed the shape of my head, one moment round, the next oval, the next lumpy. Now I admit that most cartoons would be envious of so much attention, and would feel that I'm a bastard (well, I am; Chris did no co-create me with any women, let alone one he was married to) for not appreciating that, but I've long since realized what his attentions mean.

For "real" women, his attention means nothing but lust. One of these days I am going to get access to his private sketchbook and show you what I mean by that. For men it means competition. And for cartoons, it means authority, power, and ego.

So okay, here's an example of needless crap he put me through. He needed a good "bit". You know, something that will appear occasionally in the strip as a running gag symbolizing some greater idea. Charlie got psychiatric help from Lucy, Calvin made maimed and horrified snowmen, Cathy said "ack" over seeing her body in swimsuits, and me? Something psychological and productive? No, he gave me red-rover.

Red rover red rover, lets cause Sheppard huge amounts of pain. He justified it as showing the contrast of my personality to May's. How I was apprehensive, weak, a submissive little runt of a child. The only thing I can rationalize out of this inflicted cruelty is that he foresaw my current rebellion, and he thought he would try to control it when he was firmly holding the reins. But frankly, I don't think him bright enough for such foresight.

The rest of the crew were split on how well they got off from Chris's attention. May's a bit of a... well, we won't use strong words here. Let's just say she was well type cast, and relished every line of hers. Especially the Sunday strip where she got to beat people up on panel.

I think she had him around her finger from day one. Whenever she was on set, which she made sure was often, she was in control.

Jim is actually a born-again Christian. Not sure how that happened, not much knowledge about that particular sect rolling around inside Chris's brain, but so it goes. Jim was fun enough to work with: he did feel pity for us being "lost", and encouraged us in that direction from time to time; but knew better than to press too hard. He also was good at cracking jokes. Chris gave him a few bad moments, the worst was the dog incident. But fortunately since Chris regulates both time, and mortality, the pain was relatively brief (and of course to cover it up; Chris, the bastard, had all that "happened" to Jim, occur off-cell).

Tom and John played the bullies, but they weren't so bad in "real-life". Smoked a lot of pot mostly. I remember one time coming across them, after they had memorized several parts from "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead" and were shooting off lines to one another like a machine gun. I didn't interrupt, they were having so much fun by themselves.

Dee, well, let's start off by saying that she's NOT a half-retarded mute. In real life she doesn't talk too much (except when she's drunk) but when she does speak, she's very eloquent. She once told me that she had found a passageway to Chris's pure emotions, where it was untainted by his intellectual constipation, and that it was like a beautiful emerald cavern. I guess she would spelunk there on her free days. It did bother me that Chris had a fetish with her. First of all, even though it was only a staged romance, I did develop an attachment for her; and so I did feel some jealousy. More importantly, she was in a child's body and was to him only a retarded mute. And he had a fetish for her? I think that's another sick example of his control issues. Sadly, I have not seen Dee for a while, my hope is that Chris's "intellect" didn't corrode a hole into his emotions and flood it and drown her in one of her spelunking expeditions.

Sis, well, her real name is Alexandria, and I would describe her as very sensitive and very withdrawn. If ever I was moved to care, worry, or even love someone, it was her. I am sad to write that Chris lusted after her, but it is true. I wondered, between strips, where she went, though she never said. But I suspect something was going on between the two of them; and judging by his character and her somberness during the production of the month long run, that it is not something I truly wish to know to deeply or think about.

Dear Reader's of Sheppard's column:

I would like to interject here on my own behalf, that the slander written above concerning anything "out of line" between myself and the cartoons I create, is entirely fabricated.

In addition, the implied "pornographic" sketchbook to which Sheppard refers to is not one I know of, own, or have created. Again, complete slandar.

And in regards to my attention to "real" women being nothing deeper than lust, I guarantee you, I have only had sensitive and meaningful relationships ever, with women who's emotions and hearts I value as much as my own. If any relationship has fallen short of this, I attribute it to my youth.

I allow Sheppard to speak because I feel he has something to offer to the world, and as well because he has much wisdom and a philosopher's tounge, I only wish it weren't so often forked.



shep main